Power Rankings: ACE Group ClassicFebruary 11, 2013
Editor's note: Vartan Kupelian is the Champions Tour Insider and a PGATOUR.COM Contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.
Kenny Perry will defend his title this week at the ACE Group Classic.
On the TwinEagles Golf Club (Talon) course a year ago, Perry cruised to a 5-stroke victory over the 2011 winner, Bernhard Langer.
Perry posted rounds of 64-62-70. His 18-under total of 126 set a Champions Tour record. Perry had 24 birdies in the 54-hole event.
Rocco Mediate will be in the field at TwinEagles. Last week, Mediate won his debut on the Champions Tour at the Allianz Championship. He won by 2 shots over Tom Pernice Jr. and Bernhard Langer to become the 16th player in Champions Tour history to win his first event.
Ironically, the last golfer to accomplish the feat was Pernice, who played alongside Mediate in the final group. Pernice won the 2009 SAS Championship and is primed to back-up his solid play last week with another big performance in Naples.
This week’s Power Rankings for the ACE Group Classic:
Power Rankings: ACE Group Classic Rank Player Comment Bernhard LANGER Another superb performance by Langer, who keeps churning out high finishes. Langer finished the 2012 season with 14 top 10s in 15 starts and now has added two top-3s to begin 2013. Won ACE Group in 2011, runner-up last year. Rocco MEDIATE Go with the hot hand – and this fact: Since 2000, only one player who won the first full-field event of the year on the Champions Tour has failed to finish among the top 30 money winners. Do you believe in omens? John COOK The Mitsubishi Electric champion is never far off and added a T9 in Boca Raton. He’s No. 1 in scoring average (66.33) through two events. Plenty of solid statistics, including putting numbers – 1.683 average and 27.33 per round. Tom LEHMAN Made 17 birdies (in 54 holes) and his final-round 66 was Sunday’s best at Broken Sound. It was good for a T6 finish, his second top-10 this year. Lehman tied for third at TwinEagles last year (14-under 202) so he’ll have a comfort level. Mark O'MEARA One of three players (Langer, Corey Pavin) to post three rounds in the 60s to finish T4. He’s had a nice start to the season after finishing 2012 in style following his return from injury -- 5 straight top 10s from August to October.